The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how risk, presence, and access contribute to the categorization of actors in the humanitarian response to the Syrian conflict, with a focus on international NGOs and their local partners in Syria. Considering the humanitarian actor as a loosely defined category, three main streams of narration are highlighted: international NGO personnel, both international and national staff, and the Syrian partners themselves. Through an investigation of the design and implementation of remote management strategies in the Syria response, the author engages with questions surrounding presence, access, and risk to understand remote management and risk management embedded with the construction of the humanitarian dilemma in Syria. The author explores weaknesses in the delivery of humanitarian aid suggesting inequalities regarding security, knowledge sharing, and among humanitarian actors.